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Chronic physical health consequences of being injured during the terrorist attacks on World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Brackbill RM; Cone JE; Farfel MR; Stellman SD
Am J Epidemiol 2014 May; 179(9):1076-1085
Few studies have focused on injuries from the World Trade Center disaster on September 11, 2001. Severe injury has health consequences, including an increased mortality risk 10 years after injury and the risk of mental health problems, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The World Trade Center Health Registry identified 14,087 persons with none of a selected group of preexisting chronic conditions before 2002 who were present during and soon after the World Trade Center attacks, 1,980 of whom reported sustaining 1 or more types of injury (e.g., a broken bone or burn). Survey data obtained during 2003-2004 and 2006-2007 were used to assess the odds of reporting a diagnosis of chronic conditions (heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer) up to 5-6 years after the attacks. Number of injury types and probable PTSD were significantly associated with having any chronic conditions diagnosed in 2002-2007. Persons with multiple injuries and PTSD had a 3-fold higher risk of heart disease than did those with no injury and no PTSD, and persons with multiple injuries and with no PTSD had a 2-fold higher risk of respiratory diseases. The present study shows that injured persons with or without comorbid PTSD have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases. Clinicians should be aware of the heightened risk of chronic heart and respiratory conditions among injured persons.
Emergency-response; Emergency-responders; Rescue-workers; Injuries; Mental-health; Mental-illness; Mental-stress; Mental-disorders; Stress; Health-surveys; Clinical-diagnosis; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Respiratory-system-disorders; Heart; Surveillance-programs; Epidemiology; Author Keywords: chronic conditions; disasters; injury; posttraumatic stress disorder; 9/11 World Trade Center attacks
Dr. Robert M. Brackbill, World Trade Center Health Registry, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 42-09 28th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-009739; M052014
Issue of Publication
Source Name
American Journal of Epidemiology
Performing Organization
New York City Health/Mental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division